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4

Microsoft's Trove marketplace lets you sell your photos for money and science

There are various photographer marketplaces on the web, which help professionals find interesting gigs that match their skills. These can be photoshoots for a new restaurant's dishes, a wedding, or even a new phone that's coming out. In most of these cases, the pictures are meant for private or commercial use, but I had never heard of images being captured explicitly for a machine's enjoyment, until now. Microsoft’s Trove project helps connect developers with people, who could supply photos to train machine learning models.

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9

Closing your perfectly innocent incognito tabs will no longer cause Chrome to freeze

For the last two months, spanning from Chrome version 84 to 85, some people have been experiencing spontaneous interface freezes, mostly when trying to close their last incognito tab. Google acknowledge the issue quickly and promised a timely fix, and it seems like it's finally rolling out with the latest minor Chrome update. People on version 85.0.4183.127 report that the freezes have stopped for them, and the corresponding entry in the Chromium bug tracker has been marked as fixed.

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12

A more modern Material UI comes to VLC for Android in version 3.3 (APK download)

In a world where competing media codecs run rampant, VLC is a lifesaver. Version 3.2 came out last year, bringing UI improvements, a new TV interface, and support for Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts among other things. Now 3.3 is ready to go, and it completes the UI revamp with a more modern Material look that's right at home on Android 11.

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24

Google's COVID-19 info layer is coming to Maps this week

Google has been placing COVID-19 reminders, warnings, and information in many of its services for some time now. You can't use a Google service without being reminded to wear a mask, or of where to go for screening. It's even added various tips to Maps, including where to get takeout during the pandemic. With a possible new overlay feature, it looks like we might soon be able to add Google Maps to our list of COVID tracing apps.

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2

42 temporarily free and 55 on-sale apps and games for Wednesday

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone. It would appear things have picked up quite a bit, and so I have a bunch of app and game sales to share with everyone today, including a few standouts. First up is Traffix, a delightful minimal puzzler from InfinityGames. Next up is Siege of Dragonspear, the latest adventure in the Baldur's Gate tale. And last but not least is Sir Questionnaire, an enjoyable hack and slash game filled with loot. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 42 temporarily free and 55 on-sale apps and games for the middle of the week. 

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9

Kurzgesagt and Wait but Why collaborate on beautiful Universe in a Nutshell app

The size of the universe is something us humans have real trouble getting our heads around, but there's a new app that aims to help with that in the most delightful way. Universe in a Nutshell is a joint effort from YouTube channel Kurzgesagt and Tim Urban's Wait but Why, so it's likely to be well worth the $2.99 you'll have to stump up for it on the Play Store.

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13

Files by Google can now open PDFs and adjust video playback speed

Files by Google made its debut a couple of years back, and Google has slowly been adding features to it. The latest additions in v1.0.33 include a PDF viewer and the ability to adjust playback speed for videos.

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9

Samsung brings its free TV streaming service to select Galaxy phones

The Samsung TV Plus app has been pre-installed on the company's smart TVs for years, allowing buyers to watch a small collection of live and on-demand content without hooking up a cable box or logging into a paid service. Samsung is now bringing the service to some of its Galaxy smartphones, starting September 23rd.

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78

COVID tracing app roundup: All of the countries and US states that currently offer exposure notification apps

If you're looking for your country's or state's official COVID Exposure Notification System app, you might not be able to find it thanks to the screwy way Google is handling the search function for COVID related apps on the Play Store. Despite the fact many apps are testing Google's ENS API, the tag is missing from a few listings, and even worse there are some apps you simply can't even search for on the Play Store. Since it would appear every country and US state is creating its own stand-alone app, some areas are lagging behind others, so it's tough to know if your location even has an app available.

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0

Opera updates its Android app with secure note-taking and an improved cross-device experience

Kiwi Browser showed signs of life last week, but it's not the only browser getting some fresh love. In new updates to the desktop and Android clients, Opera is adding a slew of features and improvements, including QR-code syncing and expanded availability of Flow to let users securely message themselves.

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